The definition of vulnerable is: “capable of being wounded.” This can take the form of emotional or physical hurt. Being vulnerable, open to moral attack, criticism.”

The definition of armor is: “a protective covering” and as a verb is: “to provide someone with emotional, social or other defenses.”

Questions to ponder:

From whom do we learn about vulnerability?

How do we act when we get hurt?

How/when do we learn to put ourselves out there?

When we think about doing something new or meeting someone new, the way we know that it affects us first might be a physiological response such as sweaty hands, shallow breathing or simply not going.  Brene’ Brown, a professor, states, “vulnerability is the core, the heart, the center of meaningful human experiences.”

Speaking of experiences with humans, I remember when I was in my late teens.  I had worked very hard to save for a fence at my family’s home.  I called a local fence company.  When he came out, the first thing he asked was, “Where is your father? I’m not dealing with a woman.”  I can’t tell you how I felt at the moment, maybe angry, or ready to cry?  I didn’t cry until he left.  Needless to say, I didn’t use him.  It took everything in me to make another call to a fence company.  I did, but not without putting on my “armor” for the next visit, vulnerability gone!  I’m sure there were other times before this, but this one I have never forgotten! After this, for a while, my thoughts were, “I’m gonna hurt you before you hurt me!”

I spoke above about armor.  We put on our armor the same way a turtle has a shell to protect against his unforeseen enemies and to keep him safe, “in control,” and in his comfort space.  We don’t have a “shell” per say to retreat in as a turtle does.  We have to learn to recognize our own vulnerability, take off our armor, and find the balance of our own personal, comfortable space versus the outside world.  One way to begin is to recognize your thoughts, breathe and let them flow through you without judgement.

What changes do you need to make around vulnerability and armor?  Visualize it and start making small steps towards it.  Remember, everyone has to start where they are.  “Without vulnerability, there is no love.”